A crime can have severe after effects on the victim, including emotional problems and financial losses. There are laws and several agencies to help you.
The Constitution of the State of Colorado and the laws of this state guarantee rights to victims of crime. There are specific rights afforded to victims of certain crimes or in the case of the victim being deceased or incapacitated these rights are guaranteed to the victim’s spouse, partner, parent, child, sibling or grandparent.
Victims of violent crime have additional rights as well.
You can read about the constitutional and statutory rights of victims on the Denver District Attorney website.
There are many services available to victims of crimes. The prosecutor’s office can assist you in finding those services.
If the case is being prosecuted by a City Attorney you can contact their Victim Resource Program by calling (720) 913-8020.
If the case is being prosecuted by a District Attorney you can contact a victim advocate by calling (720) 913-9000.
Information on obtaining a permanent Civil Protection order can be found in the Protection Order section of this site.
Restitution is the repayment of losses to a victim by a defendant. Victims of crime have the right to obtain restitution from defendants after a defendant has pled guilty or been found guilty at trial, and a sentence is imposed.
The prosecutor’s office is responsible for providing the Court with the amount of restitution owed to a victim, or victims, in a criminal case.
Prior to sentencing, a Victim Impact Statement is mailed to all victims of crime where injury to a person or damage to property is charged. The Victim Impact Statement will ask about the emotional, as well as financial impact of the crime and will be provided to the Judge at sentencing.
The Judge can only consider losses directly caused by the crime and it is important to provide the prosecutor’s office with documentation of the loss. If you are the victim of a crime and have questions concerning what kind of documentation is needed, the victim advocate assigned to the case can be of assistance. It is important to make sure the prosecutor’s office has current contact information for you and that all restitution documentation is provided to the prosecutor in a timely manner.
At the Sentencing Hearing, the Judge will make a specific order of restitution if the amount is known and documented. The Court can reserve the restitution order for 90 days if an exact amount still needs to be determined. If the amount of restitution is in dispute, the judge can order a Restitution Hearing and the victim may be required to appear and testify.
Once a specific amount of restitution is ordered by the Court, the defendant will be required to pay the Court and the Court will forward the payments to the victim. Sometimes defendants are put on a payment plan and are required to pay a certain amount each month. Each time a payment is made, the Court will forward the amount to the victim. Unfortunately, sometimes defendants do not pay and the Court must try to collect by garnishing wages, sending the case to a collection agency, and/or putting a hold on the defendant’s driver’s license. Note: Personal checks are NOT accepted for payment of restitution. Only a cashier’s check, money order or credit card payment will be accepted.
Information on how to obtain a permanent Protection Order
Denver Police Department “Your Rights as a Victim of Crime” brochure
Denver Police Department Victim Assistance Unit – (720) 913-6035
Victim Compensation – (720) 913-9253
See a comprehensive list of Resource contacts.